Why the amazement?
Sir, – Rejoicing in his successful surgery and amazed by the
degree of cooperation between Arab and Jewish doctors (“A glimpse of hope for
the Israeli- Palestinian conflict,” August 24), Aziz Abu Sarah amazes
As a journalist living in Jerusalem, was he not aware of all the Arab
patients in our hospitals, students in our universities, professionals working
with Jews in our courts, and even Arab judges? He is no doubt also aware of the
emergency aid we send to countries in distress, including Islamic
Has this changed the attitude of hatred toward us by our
neighbors, or their vicious and malicious indoctrination of their children
against us? I see no “glimpse of hope” for peace there.
In 1959, as a
student at Edinburgh Dental Hospital, I was given the task of relieving an
Egyptian doctor of severe pain by replacing all his faulty fillings. He
complained to me of the pain he had suffered in having his teeth cleaned and
asked if the student who treated him was Jewish. He explained that before he
left Egypt, he had been warned not to fall into the hands of a Jew in any field,
for the Jew would take out his hatred for Arabs on him. When I told him the
student was not Jewish, but that I was, he literally would not believe
Fifty years have passed, and the hatred and distrust persists. I wish
Abu Sarah luck in trying to change the attitude of his fellow Arabs toward
Sir, – Aziz Abu Sarah’s essay was troubling.
He writes about the mixing of Arab and Jewish patients and doctors as if it had
been a great surprise. He would have us believe that he had made some new
discovery, or that both sides had suddenly come to their senses in this one
small exception to otherwise insurmountable societal divisions.
is old news. Jews and Arabs interacting freely when being treated (or when
shopping, using public transportation or studying at universities) is
commonplace – as well it should be.
There is much more to be done to make
Israeli society truly equal – especially in the areas of housing, public
services, primary education and national service. Still, only those who
subscribe to the inaccurate characterization of Israel as an “apartheid” country
would see anything new in this piece.EFRAIM A. COHEN
Zichron Ya’akov Beware of Blair
Sir, – As head of the Quartet, who will be present behind the
scenes during direct Israeli- Palestinian negotiations, Tony Blair cannot be
considered a neutral interlocutor. Nor can his statement at the
Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, that “those in the world who want to
delegitimize Israel are also delegitimizing those around the world who share
Israel’s values and admire its free spirit,” be considered that of a true friend
(“Blair: Delegitimization of Israel is affront to all humanity,” August
He never made similar remarks when he was UK prime minister and had
far more influence with international leaders.
Tony Blair Associates
works in an advisory capacity to the Kuwaiti government, to Mubadala, an Abu
Dhabi sovereign fund, and to the South Korean oil multinational UI Energy
Working for these organizations means such interests rule
out his neutrality, despite his attempt to bend over backward to show us his
friendship. (He does the same for the PA!) Blair should not be allowed to
determine our future. The British public is now only too aware of the spin he
used, to their detriment, when he was prime minister.
It is time our
politicians wake up to this fact before it is too late!
DR. COLIN L. LECI
Jerusalem Catch 23
Sir, – Holon’s chief rabbi stated that “people... who hold
senior positions in the authorities...
must be ignored and treated as
air” (“Holon chief rabbi: Judges, senior officials can’t join minyan,” August
Since the chief rabbi is a senior employee of the secular
authorities, anyone who unwaveringly adheres to his rulings is obliged to ignore
Jerusalem Seniors still there
Sir, – In response to
Ellie Morris’s letter regarding Jewish Venice (“New ghetto tenant,” August 25),
I need to point out that the old age home is actually still there, on the second
floor of the Giardino del Ghetto hotel (the rooms of the hotel are on the upper
The Jewish community of Venice sees it as its obligation to take
care of these seniors (all of them women now). I had the pleasure of meeting
their caregivers and seeing them on their daily outings into the ghetto
By the way, the hotel is a wonderful place to stay, with
excellent kosher food.DEBRA NUSSBAUM STEPEN
Jerusalem Glick disregards
Sir, – Caroline Glick’s column “Israel fights the demagogues,” Our world,
August 24) is a sickening, demagogic example of disregard for the
She fantasizes a “domination” by the Left that does not exist. It
is simply not true that “after a generation of meekly accepting the Left’s
domination of the public discourse – in the media, in academia, in the legal
system and in popular culture – the public has finally had enough.”
simply not true to say “For the first time in a generation, the Left is on the
defensive. Rather than dominating the air waves with its allegations of Israeli
and Zionist racism and criminality, it is forced to defend its right to block
out all dissenting voices from the national debate.”
I am proud of the
Left’s uphill fight against injustice in Israel, and it is deplorable that
Caroline Glick shoots the messenger because she does not want the message to be
Sir, I usually read Caroline Glick’s columns.
Sometimes I agree, sometimes I disagree.
On August 24 she wrote “Led by
Gordon, six of the 11 signed a letter supporting soldiers who refuse to serve in
the IDF.” This is very misleading, as she left out “in the
This omission raises serious concerns as to her credibility
and makes one wonder what other “facts” she has twisted to support her
Ramat Hasharon It looks it
Sir, – Regarding “Police
recommend indicting Olmert in Holyland scandal” (August 24), it is now clear
that it was bribery and corruption that conceived one of Israel’s ugliest
building complexes.MICHAEL MOHNBLATT
Tel Mond Rabbi and Rickie
Singers and scholarship don’t usually go together.
Example: Rickie Lee
Jones speaking of “rabbi Jesus” in your August 24 issue (“Rip-offs, royalties
& rabbi Jesus”).
Though the Book of Matthew uses the term “rabbi”
several times, it was not yet in general use at the time, and the likelihood is
that it was interpolated by a later editor.
Even if there were people
addressed as “rabbi,” it was probably no more than a polite greeting, like
“sir.”RABBI RAYMOND APPLE
Jerusalem Haven for tautology?
Sir, – I know
that in this country “American English” is used, but there are still rules that
In your analysis piece “Would an IDF withdrawal from the West
Bank mean a safe haven for extremists?” (August 24), “safe haven” is tautology.
A haven is always safe. Other examples of tautology are “future prospects,”
“past history” and “live survivors.”
The latest edition of the Oxford
English Dictionary has many new words, some of which are horrible modern
variations, but correct grammar should always be used.SALLY SHAW